Research Methods

We were asked to help our client create a roadmap for the future of digital fleet management. This meant rolling up our sleeves, and spending days observing and participating in the in’s and out’s of fleet management activities.

Because Fleet Managers are not the easiest guys to find, we had a challenging recruit. We overcame this challenge by creating a digital version of our screener using a off the shelf online survey program (zoomerang). We posted the survey on a number of fleet management and trucking forums while our client spammed their top customer list.



Online Panel – When we start a new project, the first thing we usually do is to buy and use the product (or service) that we are working on. While we are rarely the target user for a project, experiencing the offering first hand helps us empathize with our users quickly. For this project we didn’t have the luxury of experiencing the service before jumping into interviews, and we knew there was a steep learning curve. There was a whole world of trucking related vocabulary and culture that we knew nothing about. So we set up an online panel of advisors. We found some of the best, and sassiest, fleet managers in the country and asked them to guide us through our research. This group beta tested everything we did and offered feedback for fitting in.


We interviewed fleet managers all over the country to better understand their needs, wants, and current challenges.




In each city we picked a couple of respondents to spend the entire day observing. These were “fly on the wall” sessions where we passively observed instead of guiding the respondent in a conversation.




By the end of the project we were ready to immerse in fleet management. I spent a day acting as a fleet manager (with close guidance of course) .




We evaluated 3 versions of our design direction to gather feedback for our final solution. This meant building fake websites and taking some of our early respondents for a guided tour to see which features resonated and which did not.